This review is dedicated to Buck-A-Book, one of my favorite discount stores ever, which closed down recently. It was a small, but memorable New England area institution (for me, at least). You see, Buck-A-Book is where I found “Epic”, it’s where I found Dancing the Dream, it’s where I found “Magical Princess Gigi”. And it is where I found this.
As you recall from the “Gigi” review, that video included a preview for this movie, and I deemed it “almost too insane to handle”. Here is the what is written on the back of the “Clementine” video’s box, and it puts any plot summary I could do to shame:
“SHE WILL FLY AWAY WITH YOUR HEART! Meet the bravest young heroine to grace our screens in a very long time: CLEMENTINE! With a lot of hope, endless determination, and the help of a very special guardian angel, this 10 year old adventurer overcomes a confining injury to make all of her dreams come true. Trading her wheelchair in for a magic flying bubble, she and her kitten embark on a marvelous adventure through time where they meet two heroes from our most beautiful legends: Leonardo Da Vinci and Pinocchio. A little magic, mystery and great moments of emotion make this a magnificent story full of humor and surprises that children will want to watch again and again. A FULLY ANIMATED FEATURE FILM!”
The Best Parts:
1 minute in – I can so totally not already tell that this is three or four random episodes from an entire animated series edited together.
2 minutes in – “Let me see your grill! / Yuh yuh your grill!”
4 minutes in – ANIMAL CRUELTY!!! (This is just going to have to go for the whole movie, see below.)
7 minutes in – Clowns are creepy…
10 minutes in – Dear readers, please tell me you are seeing the same things I do?
11 minutes in – I know who’s going to be starring in tonight’s nightmares.
16 minutes in – I want that f___ing hat.
21 minutes in – I’m speechless.
24 minutes in – I’m going to have to sing THE SONG!
“Flying over rooftops! / Flying over my town! / Flying over some stuff! / I can see a bird! / It is a BIIIIIIIIIIRRRRD of SOROOOOOOOOW!!! / High as a BIIIIIIIIIIRRRRD of SOROOOOOOOOW!!! / Singing of the Laaaaaaand! / Land of FARAWAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!”
Be it known that you would hate every minute of takeoff and landing if you sat next to me on a plane. *^_^*
26 minutes in – OMG, she DIED???
28 minutes in – I think I’ve just come up with a new theory to explain what’s going on in “Lost”…
31 minutes in – I’m confused! 😦
34 minutes in – Wow, what a dick.
Oh, do note: Montenero has had many violent accidents and has nary a scratch on him. Clementine has one accident and had a near-death experience and woke up with both her legs broken, implicitly beyond repair. Man, this is a good movie to show your children. It teaches them a valuable lesson about the inherit unfairness of life, doesn’t it? 😦
40 minutes in – Clowns and Monkeys are creepy…
41 minutes in – “We sabotaged Montenero’s rocket and now he is going to die violently! Oh, hooray!!!”
47 minutes in – Just when I thought this movie wasn’t going to be as relentlessly trippy as I’d hoped, along come the Magical Flying Chocolate Easter Bells. Magical *Talking* Flying Chocolate Easter Bells.
57 minutes in – The canals of Venice sound oddly like a gigantic toilet tank, don’t they?
58 minutes in – Watch the animation of the acrobat. Given what is about to happen soon, I think this is where Clementine and her friends officially enter the Matrix.
1 hour in – Too. Many. Characters.
1 hour, 2 minutes in – A-n-d we’re off!
1 hour, 6 minutes in – And now for the True Secrets of the Da Vinci Code! (See “Things We Learned” below.)
1 hour, 11 minutes in – Puppets can drown?
1 hour, 14 minutes in – I don’t know if I’ve mentioned enough times just how utterly confusing this movie is.
1 hour, 16 minutes in – Least Scary Demon Ever.
1 hour, 17 minutes in – Still can’t get those sharks with frikkin’ laser beams on their heads, can you?
1 hour, 20 minutes in – Good job at hiding that top-secret military intel, Pinoc.
1 hour, 25 minutes in – “Showtime, Synergy!!!”
1 hour, 28 minutes in – It’s over!!! (Wait, what, huh?)
By the way, this tape doesn’t include one of the famous Just For Kids Trailer Parks, and I am very disappointed about that.
Classic Lines of Dialogue:
“With chocolate all over his glasses like that, he will never be a man of vision!” – Leona
“How do they make the bells fly, father?” – Clementine
“If you got a little faith / and you got a lot of heart
And you never say quit though you’ve got reasons why!
“You can do good like Robin Hood! / Just like Oliver Twist!
You can have a happy ending! / You just can’t miss!” – Opening Theme Song
Things I Learned from this Movie/Book/Whatever:
* – You really can’t imagine how bad the dubbing of foreign language animated films was in the 80’s. Next time somebody bitches about the “Princess Mononoke” dub, you show them this.
* – If the leader of your circus cracks a whip, doesn’t let you take vacations ever, risks the life of an innocent bystander just to prove his point, and does not care about baby animals, worry.
* – A pigeon flying into a building symbolizes good luck. Just not for your furniture.
* – Clowns have almost Ninja-like espionage skills.
* – In Venice, every day is Halloween.
* – True Secret of the Da Vinci Code #1: Da Vinci once ran afoul of some guy who dressed like Dracula and kept man-eating baby eels as pets.
* – True Secret of the Da Vinci Code #2: Da Vinci invented Gelato.
* – True Secret of the Da Vinci Code #3: Da Vinci was once helped by Pinocchio, Synergy, and a time-traveling (or hallucinating) little French girl.
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures? No.
Good Soundtrack? Definitely No. This could be the most ridiculous soundtrack since, err, “Magical Princess Gigi”.
Hot Guys? No.
Pretty Scenery? Uh, kind of.
Nifty Animation/Special Effects/Illustrations? The animation is memorably craptacular.
Drinking Game Potential? Drink when you see a jarring cut, evidence that this is really many episodes smashed together. Also, drink when the villains are mean to an animal and drink twice when one of the good guys(!) is mean to an animal.
Head Movie Potential? Yes.
A series created by Bruno-Rene Huchez in 1985. Written by Giles Taurand and Oliver Massart and directed by Rene Borg.
IMDB page – And look at that, it is a series.
Planete Jeunese – I failed French, but maybe you didn’t. Anyway, this is a French site with an episode list and plot summary.
“Jesus Shaves” – Apparently magical flying chocolate Easter bells are a thing, like an actual holiday tradition, in France and elsewhere, as explained (kind of) by David Sedaris in this “This American Life” story.